budget camping safari in Kenya/Tanzania???

Old Nov 24th, 2008, 08:49 PM
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budget camping safari in Kenya/Tanzania???

Has anyone done a "budget camping" safari in Kenya or Tanzania? What was the experience like and would you do it again? How were the guides, the food, the other campers? What outfitter did you use?
My 18 year old daughter and I have 5 days in Nairobi before heading to Uganda. We'd like to do a 3-4 day safari, but nothing fancy or expensive. Any advice is greatly appreciated!!!
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Old Nov 25th, 2008, 01:14 AM
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3-4 day will be enough for a quick Safari . Just do Crescent Island in Lake Naivasha where the famous moviw OUT OOF AFRICA wasshot and get the opprtunity to loop withe the animals as you trek on the Island . That evening drive to Lake Nakuru and experience the Flamingos in Millions , do the Hells Gate trek and you will be done . Or you can just do the Famous Mara experience by driving straight to this world famous park . In either of the above , you will spend not more than $120 per person per day including , park fees , meals , accomodations and airport transffers,transportation . If you can , get hold of a private tour guide b the name [email protected] or [email protected] . there is also on Keneddy who has been appearing on this forum .waitting for you trip report here.
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Old Nov 25th, 2008, 06:58 PM
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pinkdogmb, take a look at the various trip reports in the New East Africa Trip Report Index. Although most listed are the pricier kind of safaris, you should be able to find a few budget camping reports there.

I did a mix of camping and lodges in Tanzania in 2004 on a private trip. I really enjoyed it!
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Old Nov 25th, 2008, 08:01 PM
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What a deal! Even for those paying the higher costs. How many people in your vehicle? Did you start/end in Nairobi?
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Old Nov 27th, 2008, 04:40 AM
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By budget I'm still assuming you do not want to hack it in the wild by actually camping out in the public campsites.
My suggestions:
Because you will be here for only a few days, concentrate on at most two game reserves/park with high wildlife concentration.
I would suggest Maasai Mara and Nakuru National Park.
Maasai Mara
Even though the wildebeest migration is over, the resident wildebeest (Those that do not make the trip back) are still aplenty. The big five based in the Mara are of course not migrating anywhere! So, there's game to be seen.
This park has the flamingo as the special attraction but some of the big five are easily viewable especially the black/white rhinos and buffalo. Gazalles, waterbuck etc are in plenty.
Nakuru is perfect for a one day safari.

That would mean you get 2 days in the mara and 1 day in Nakuru.

Mara Accomodation

For your 'budget' situation I would suggest staying at a 'Banda'. Most of these Bandas are located in established non-public campsites. Some are pretty comfortable (hot water shower, flush toilets, generator for power, catered meals (3)).Plenty of them are pretty close to the game park though nealy all are outside the park (makes them cheaper).

Nakuru Accomodation
Nakuru is easy. Just stay in any of the miriad of low cost local hotels in Nakuru town. The park is only 5km form the town.

I would suggest hiring a tour guide with a personal tour van (free lancers).
The reason being you avoid tour company costs. After all, these are the same guys hired by the companies (Ooops, shoot me!) and that's the reason most tour vans have stickers and not painted names.
The cost for transportation will include
- the guide/driver
- guide/driver daily allowance
- A 7 seater van (daily). It makes no difference wether you are 2 or 7.
- Park fees ($40 dollars each park/day/person)
- vehicle park fees(Ksh. 1,800 mara, Ksh. 1,000)

Need more info? let me know.

amon is offline  
Old Dec 6th, 2008, 08:29 PM
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Thanks everyone for the ideas and suggestions! They were great and I really appreciate the information you wrote.
How can I go about safely securing a reliable guide prior to our arrival (July 2009)? And how does one arrange staying in a "comfortable" banda/campground in or near the Mara? (I really am thinking of budget camping!--is that crazy?) I just want to see the wildlife. But budget camping won't be worth it, if the game drives are mediocre. (Then it may be worth it to stay less time at a lodge.) I'd love to hear from anyone who has budget camped, how they did it, and what it was like. Any more thoughts/comments/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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